tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 13, 2014 8:30pm-10:31pm EST
the washington times that iraq's chaos could be oman but the troops are bringing them together. afghanistan war planners are trying to picture the country without the united states troops might want to cast an eye toward the iraq. al qaeda has reassembled and unleashed ways of deadly carb carbam -- car bombs -- the same situation could happen in afghanistan. any thoughts? >> i do think that we have to be careful about withdrawing our support and assistance for afghanistan too quickly. i think a lot of progress has been made. the afghan security forces are
leading to provision of security across the country but they still need our help. if we pulled out too quickly or completely and cut off our assistance we could find ourselves with afghanistan's sliding back into what could be an opportunity for al qaeda. but what happened in iraq is different. the prime minter, i think, has taken an increasingly sectarian approach and rather than working with the sunni's, we tried to marginalize them and accuse his political rivals of crime.
he withdraw support and really created a situation which he is now dealing with which have a very marginalized sunni population that because of their dissatisfaction opened up the ground for al qaeda to come back in. so i think the driver's of the situation are somewhat different. >> our guest is with us for 35 or 40 minutes so time to take your calls and tweets. if you want to go ahead and post them we will read them as well. phone lines on the bottom of the screen. democrats, republicans, independents. three separate lines. and can you talk about the latest in iraq and your thoughts on the deal? >> the u.s. needs a new
agreement with afghanistan in order to have a legal bases to continue to provide military advise, assistance, and training beyond 2014 when the current mission ends. this isn't u.s. troops in a combat role but more an advise and assist. he has refused to sign the agreement even though 25 leaders of afghanistan overwhelming encoura encouraged him to sign agreement. it hard to under why he's not going forward. it is hard to know what is going on in his mind.
but it is complicating u.s. and nato planning for the 2014 mission. the longer desley -- this delays -- he is making it harder to commit to interest for the u.s. and the afghanistan troops >> there is a headline titled loosing iraq. we can see the headline. but wanted to show you a clip from senator john mccain when asked about the significant up take in violence in iraq. >> this president wanted out and we got out and we are now seeing
increased iranian influence in iraq. >> i want to see if i have this correctly. watching what is going on in iraq, you think there is nothing the u.s. can do that might help purge the al qaeda members out of iraq? you think that is a lost cause? >> no, no. i apologize if i gave you the wrong impression. no combat troops. but we could provide them with assistance, support and patchy helicopters but they have to have an awakening and reach out to the sunni and have national reconcile. we could have kept a residual
force there, but i would suggest perhaps sending ambassador cocker over there. it isn't just iraq. you are seeing an al qaeda conclave there and that is dangerous. the united states is disengaged in syria, and thank god we are seeing a little reversal there, thank god. >> mitchell, speak first about the detail about the potential for a u.s. aid to be brought back in. what is your take? >> we heard that the u.s. is taking back their outreach and offer of assiassistance to try
deal with this. i think senator mccain is right in that the key issue is getting him to renew the outreach to the sunni's which he hasn't done during his time in office. where i would differ with the senator is on the this history. this president sought to keep some forces in iraq, but at the end of the day, the president understood he had to take agreement to his parliment and believed they would use that as
a no confidence vote to take his government done and he wasn't willing to go forward. and no secretary of defense or president should be willing to put american troops into a country without legal protections and immunity. it is not a tenable positions. >> here is one of the headlines backing up what the guest said. we have a forth phone line for the segment. here is the other one for afghanistan/iraq veterans. 202-585-3883 is your line. just that broader headline, loosing iraq, a nation one seen as great hope is unravelling as al qaeda is sinking its teeth in and the u.s. wonders what could
have been. a broader view of what is happening in iraq and what happened? >> iraq had an opportunity to move forward and it has functioning security in some ways. the real pursuit is of an agenda and missing the opportunity to foster agreement to build a multi culture society. that is what the u.s. is pressing him to do. iran has been pushing him in other directions. what is happening in syria is part of what is creating the opportunity for al qaeda. so this is a complicated and
dangerous situation. and he is going to have to work hard to recover and we need to help him move in that direction if he is willing to go there. >> our guest is there former defense secretary in the obama administration. tom is our first call from omaha, nebraska. hello, tom. >> hi, good morning. >> good morning. >> i am afraid your guest isn't going to be happy with what i am going to say -- i have lost you. hello? >> we can hear you. go ahead. >> why in the world, unless we wanted him to reject the national security pact, would we send a woman to present an ultimatum to the president of an
islamic country? >> what is he referring to? >> he is referring to the fact susan rise made a trip to meet with the president of iraq and talk with him about the importance of signing the bilateral security agreement. a couple things. first of all, i don't believe that ambassador rise did present any ultimatums but the premise of your question is faulty. my own experience working with a number of senior afghan officials is they have no trouble dealing with women in their official capacity or that is based on my experience working with the minter of defense and so forth. i think the bottom line is this agreement is in the national
interest of both countries. it is in the united states because we don't want afghanistan to slide back into being a save haven for al qaeda and they continue to need our support. it is an afghan's interest because i think they understand that while they have made progress in building their own security forces and calling the shots for their own future they still need the help of the interal -- international community and if no security forces are allowed after 2014 you will see with draw of aid and it will be tough for them to stay alive >> we have timothy on the line from the independent line. >> thanks for taking my call. the truth is, the very truth, is that this started by george bush and those guys that were running
the republican congress now and not getting nothing done. i don't under why they have to find money to extend unemployment benefits and they have to find a way to pay for it. they went to this war and this thing was about $15 trillion after all it is said and done and it is making no difference. no matter if we stay there or put more troops like mccain was saying. it doesn't matter what we do over there. this thing is going to be the outcome the way it is going to come out that way. we are big talking nation, but we cannot go around and influence other nations no matter how big they are. and i don't know understand this. we tried it in vietnam and we always make the same mistakes.
and most people say we need to forget about bush and protect ourselves but they made this wave of terror and that is how they are spending the money through all of the contractors. our military spends more than the rest of the world put together. >> i think timothy raises two questions. i would say remember why we went to afghanistan. the intervention in afghanistan was in direct response to being attacked on 9-11 by al qaeda who was finding save haven in afghanistan and pakistan at the
time. what we do now does matter in afghanistan, i think, if the u.s. and international community continue to provide a modest compared to what we have invested, a modest amount of support going forward. i think the afghans have a chance to security their own country, prevent al qaeda from coming back in in force, and to improve their situation. i think the cost going into war without the cost of paying for it, i do think that is something that is a set of lessons for the
history book. >> they have mapped al qaeda and how it continues to grow in the middle east and hey list any number of countries -- nigeria, iraq, afghanistan, pakistan, somalia, and they point out after the death of bin laden they have acted independently. what are your thought on the map? >> the united states has made progress in degrading the al qaeda senior leadership particularly in pakistan. the organization has morphed into much more independent still very variant in the countries
you mentioned. the united states needs to help build the capacity of those countries to deal with the groups locally and be affective in trying to limit their growth, access to save haven, and so forth. >> joshua from deer park washington. >> let me go over three points. one ban all in-contractor theaters. number two, initiate a draft that covers everybody. and immediately issue war taxes to pay for this non-sense. meet the new boss, same as the old one, nothing changes but
haliburton. the pay level is getting high enough the media cannot cover it. so you come on and blabber for 20 minutes. what is the mission? are we going to be every place a couple muslims get into the a fist fight? >> hard to know where to begin on that one. i am not in the administration anymore. second of all, i am not advocateing u.s. boots on the ground wherever there are disagreements in islamic community. i am advocating for a modest role to support the afghan national security forces to complete their training. in terms of banning contractors,
i think we need to do a careful scrub of the appropriate and inappropriate rules of contractors on the battle field. but with regard to a draft, i think you cannot find -- it is hard to find anyone in today's all volunteer force that believes going toward a draft at this point wouldn't undermine the suburb quality of the all-volunteer force. the fact we have a truly professional force that is able to deal with much more complex task of war today. we want to have a connection and that the american people support the missions we undertake, but i don't think a draft is the right answer.
>> jeremy is here. democratic calling. good morning. >> morning, sir. i would like the guest to comment on the interesting aspect and the difficulties we have. you made lessonatis to the reference of history and we are dealing with cultures here and with our negotiations what about just the lack of veracity and how do we deal with countries that don't follow through and do what they say they will do? how can we have good faith relations with countries like those? >> well, i think you raise an important point when you are
negotiating with another country you better take the time to understand how they approach negotiati negotiations and what the traditions are. if we think people will sit across a table and think and speak the way we do we get into trouble. what i have seen going into the nugoe negotiati negotiations with other countries, the state representatives have done what they need to do. when we make agreements with countries, we have to make sure there are accountability measures in place. >> here is a tweet from a quest -- any chance the rebels are using guns acquired from syria we are arming?
>> i think we cannot be c confidant where their source of weaponry is coming from. but i think the united states efforts to arm more moderate rebel groups in syria is coming with a number of steps and measures to insure those weapons don't fall into the hands of al qaeda. whether that has been hundred percent full-proof i don't think anybody can say. but the groups you are seeing popping up in iraq are not the groups we are supporting and arming in syria. >> in afghanistan, a couple headlines this morning, this happened sunday. attack on bus killing two people and wounding 20 others.
you will see this photograph here. they are saving the relics that were destroyed by the taliban. the taliban smashed the objects and they have been pain staking to put back together. james from arizona is calling. >> this is a bit off topic but i think it will be tidy. i am a disabled vet from agent orange. and there is something the
american people are not aware of. it is about the blue water soldiers that were stationed offshore and they were denied disability benefits because they didn't have a quote boot on the ground. i talked to my senator here and congressman, who are both republicans. senator cotton said we are aware of the problem but we cannot afford to reimburse these people. i was sickened to hear that. my brother was on the uss intrepid, he died of agent
orange prostate cancer. the va doctors recognized and stated he died of agent orange. because he had no boot on the ground, he was denied his disability. this is aatregsious. these veterans are forgotten. police do a program about this atrocity that the american government put on the veterans of vietnam. >> james, thank you for your service. i am disturbed to hear the story. i don't know the particulars of the case, but i know the va in resent years is opening up access for agent orange victims
for veterans who experienced gulf war syndrome and liber liberalizing their access policy which is what created the backlog in claims. but opening up the access is the right policy and i will hope you continue to press your case. i would like to go back to the headline about the various taliban bombings. they do continue to take place, but if you look at the scale and scope, while any loss at a tragedy, they tend to be limited. and that is because the afghan security forces had made gains and the taliban is no longer winning battles in rural areas. so they are left to small, one-off individual suicide
bomber tactics which is a sign of the challenges they are facing in gaining momentum or regaining momentum. >> there is a tweet here. why is the guest not in the administration longer? >> it was an honor to serve and i would not trade the experience of working with the president and the secretary for the world. but i do have three kids who i wanted to have them recognize me when i talk through the door. two of them are leaving for college and this is a precious time to have more time with the. >> the second part is what you think of robert gates? we have a clip this morning from him. >> it was in our private
conversations he would express reservations about whether it was working. but the decisions were right and i believe he believed it would work. it parallels president bush in 2006 when he had reservations about whether his strategy was working in iraq. >> what do you make about what you heard and and the critiques coming out? >> i have not had a chance to read the final version so i don't want to say much on that. but i think, you know, what you heard from secretary gates just now is that i think what was interesting to me serving the president and gates, more often
than not they agreed on policy particular with an iraq case. >> and this is a "washington post" headline after he was on cbs morning yesterday, he defended the talk about the handling of the war by the president after saying i don't think it makes sense to wait longer. moving on to our next caller. you are calling on the republican line elizabeth. >> thank you for your service. i wish we had more women of your capability and your caliber. ... soliber thank you so much. is what i wanted to know that early on, i was able to
take peopleey would about 20 minutes and let them see some of the hearings of the attacks on 9/11. i have tried to keep up with it through the years because i am not hard over either way. i think everybody is trying to do the right thing, frankly. wondering, when the usa was put up on the screen and you saw the activity and the different countries that had the al qaeda presence in them, i keep going back to the funding. who is encouraging and funding and promoting, you know, the network? that was what some of the hearings we were able to attend as the former cia director, had described it. he said it was kind of like a spider web.
with all of the war activity and the huge amount of years that have gone on, could you give into a little bit more of why these people seem to be playing both sides of the fence? it seems like they go in, and then, we have to go in and mow them down. could you tell me about where we handle on whong a is funding them and how we can go about lessening that affect the echo -- that affect? -- effect? i think since 9/11, we have paid a lot more attention to the funding sources for al qaeda and its affiliates. it has elevated the role of the treasury department they established a whole new office to pursue terrorist financing
and try to figure out how we disrupt that. the truth is a lot of the terrorist groups are networked with other kinds of organized crime, networks that use drug money and money laundering, all kinds of illicit activities, to fund their terrorism efforts. think hasthing i received increased attention. it is a huge part of our diplomatic efforts. fundingfind a source of coming from the gulf war europe or another region of the world, we integrate that issue into our bilateral relations and really to the extent governments have impact, try to press them to change their laws or behavior, to try to stamp out that funding. >> larry on twitter wants a bit of a history lesson from our guest. he writes, what was the reason
for the surge in afghanistan initially echo what did it accomplish? why was there a surrender date at the start? guest: when obama came into office, he conducted a major afghanistan review. where were we, how is it going, and what was needed? washat time, what we found the taliban led insurgency, they have the momentum. they were gaining ground and territory in gaining influence. not.re in addition, you had elections upcoming at that point here the weresment was the afghans not in a position to secure the elections by themselves and that we did not have enough troops on to really ensure their success. to search was put into place
try to put the forces into place that could reverse the momentum of the campaign of the taliban, give us the initiative, create breathing space to build the afghan national security forces so they could step into the lead, and really secure the country, and to allow space for elections and improved governance to occur. setting a date was part of an to assure the afghan leadership and afghan people that this was not going to be an indefinite occupation. we were not there to occupy the country, which has obviously been a very sore point for afghans. it was also to ensure we did not feed a growing culture of dependency on the u.s. and the international community. we had this window and then it would be up to them to take the lead on their own future. that was the rationale coupled
with the date. a couple of calls waiting. we want to get to your reaction to the headlines on iran. it says it will scale back its nuclear program next week, january 20. what do you make of the progress of the negotiation? guest: i think the interim agreement is important. ron's -- it halts iran posses activity molly work in more permanent agreement. it is important. -- it halts iran's activity. it is important. the other thing that matters is the final agreement, making sure we put more time on the clock, that we ensure we have a situation where iran cannot -- sh to a new --
host: independent caller. i want to put the movements in the middle east in a broader context. in the last three years, we had to turning, movement the authoritarian regime on their head. and build states modeled after region.nd the we are looking at that as a model to pay off debts and a driving economy. the enemies of this movement, the saudi's and israelis and all these others, are using the al qaeda threat because it is a threat to them for these
countries to liberate from the authoritarian regimes. it is a threat to them to develop and have economies and become manufacturing centers. they are pushing their intelligence agencies and they are funding these extremist groups, to defame this movement. the iraqis, in one year, were peaceful protests. to have malik he just give a little bit of their civil rights, and they refused and now, he is using this excuse that this -- there is an al qaeda to go in and basically detain this peaceful movement that has been happening for one this toiraq. uses label, ready to stick on anybody asking for authoritarian regimes to be removed. host: thank you for calling. guest: i agree with your general for the arab spring
movements seeking greater but i disagreets with your assessment of the al qaeda threat. andink al qaeda in syria now in iraq is actually real. groups theany of the united states and the gulf states are funding in syria are islamistsate, even if rebel groups actually fighting al qaeda in syria -- we just last week read a great deal in theattles happening region. i disagree with your assessment but i think you raise an important point about the prospects of the arab spring , in light of
challenging circumstances now. carol, a democrat. caller: what i was calling to say was, if our member correctly when this all started, taliban and al qaeda were not the same ring. now we say "the threat of the taliban in afghanistan." that is not the same as al qaeda. even though the taliban is more like a shia ruled thing, they are still not al qaeda and they wereo problem when they there. what is going on? i do not understand why we keep saying the taliban is so terrible. but thehey are distinct leader of the taliban, omar, is the religious leader to whom most al qaeda senior leadership -- leadership has sworn loyalty.
there is a strong connection. when taliban were governing in afghanistan, they provided safe qaeda on their soil. there is an interconnection between the two groups, even though they are separate and distinct. is, one of the primary sources of funding for the taliban today is the illicit drug trade in afghanistan. whatever their policies might of been when they were rolling afghanistan, they are benefiting from the growth of poppies and the drug trade in afghanistan today. john in new jersey, democrat, welcome. or obama posses were. it is america posses were. we need to be more unified in that. that is really all i had to say. it is america posses were. war.merica's
guest: i agree. afghanistan has been an effort that enjoyed a lot of bipartisan support and i would hope that would continue going forward. to achieving the core objective of ensuring it is not put back into being a safe haven for al qaeda with modest continued commitment. , we justable afghans have to stay the force. our guest, formerly the defense undersecretary of policy on the next "washington journal" virginia congressman discusses the congressional comprise over the final trillion dollar bill with government funding expiring on wednesday.
welcome distinguished speakers and guests and c-span viewers. today we're talking about -- pretty prompted by an article democracy magazine. which is called "battle field ." today we're examining the question of, you know, to what extent the united states should engage in an open-ended war. both in time and space. as everybody knows. the authorization of military force shortly after 9/11. nobody who voted for it anticipated would basically authorize the loming eswar in american history. and a war conducted in places like pakistan, somalia, yemen, libya. indeed. if you remember who was basically picked up on the street of tripoli in october, it was under the authorization for military force. there may be things we may not know being authorized by the act. we have a distinguished fanal
-- panel to discuss these issues with today. heather who is sitting here. a female, so obviously it's heather. >> he's trying to make it ' for you. [laughter] >> has had a distinguished career in government at the white house and state department. working on the hill. she ran the national security network network. she's senior adviser there. and she will speak first followed by benjamin who is well-known as the editor in chief. he worked at brookings. he authored a number of books that examined legal issues that come out of the sort of post 9/11 world. who had a distinguished career workedded at kennedy school for many years. worked at brookings and state
department office of policy planning. he's now at council of foreign relations and arguably, in fact, probably is the nation's leading expert on drones, which of course, are a part of this story. we'll start with heather. thanks, peter. i want to start by thanking democracy journal and albert here representing them for having believe me when i told them six months ago this incredibly subject would fail room, drive folks to the magazine and would be interesting and important. and also to recognize the amount of work new america has done on what it is that is being done in our name under the aumf. peter was out in the work you have done. it would be harder to have any conversation about the subject at all. why would you all come here? why would we have a conversation today talking about this obscure
am anymore. the president is going much-anticipated statement about it. which is a hot topic in counterterrorism, and associated activities. we haven't talked so much about this issue. indeed the three of us were just thinking we can't remember a panel on this subject having being held in at least six months. why are you here? why can tuesday matter. why is it a set of acronyms we have know something about? the answer i want to give to that, and the answer that the rest of our panel really incarnates is both from a legal perspective and from a policy perspective the fact we are at war and whatever the heck it is, whenever the heck it is we're at war, defines the parameters, the shape of so many of what is happening in our national security policy and indeed in our national life. even the nsa surveillance controversy, legislate has been
raised by the privacy administration and not repudiated by this administration back to the aumf which makes particularly recent new america report saying that peter and his colleagues were unable to find concrete evidence that the nsa surveillance meta data resulted in an appreciable impact on foiling terrorist plots. so we have this set of legal implications, which if you're an institutionalist and care about the constitutions or balance of power is an enormous deal. you also have this question of, is war, is war footing are the activities associated with war the right way to counterterrorism? are they the most effective way. and the fascinate thing about this, to me, as a policy geek and government geek, is that the effectivenesses conversation is
the one we're not having. that you have a report come out saying actually perhaps surveillance doesn't help. perhapses that kind of meta data is not indeed as key a factor in preventing terrorism. you have somebody like danny blair, thed admiral and senior internlings official say all the effort we nut to coordinate with pakistan is getting in wait of the longer term activity which are much more important to solve our terrorism problem in pakistan. you have commanding general in afghanistan after commanding general in afghanistan say we cannot drone our way to victory. you have the president of the united states saying this war, like all wars, must end. yet, this war shows no sign of ending. we face this fascinating turning point this year. so the first question you would want to ask is actually what is this war that we're fighting under the 2001 authorization for
use of military force past seven days after the attack on nieflt. obviously, there's at ground conflict in afghanistan. combat operations will end in december. what else do we know about what else is happening? from official government sources we hardly know anything. we have never seen an official government accounting of how many targeted killings or drone strikes there are. where they have been carried out. how many civilian casualties, what the intentions were, what the effects were. we, those of us out here in the unclassified unverse don't know any of this. many of our elected representatives don't know any of it either. a few of our elected representatives, so the-called gafng gang of 8 know quite a bit of it. we don't know what they know
because they can't tell us. and so we, as a society and even our elected representatives are simply unable to sit up here and say to you this is working, it's not working inspect is the right approach. this is the wrong approach. what we think we know, saying to the work of new america and u new other organization that worked very hard to gather up this data is that you had an aggressive expansion of a targeted killing program aimed at both top alleged terrorists and lower-level folks. but which cements to have peeked in 2010 and started to decline again. similarly, if you seem to have had over that period a dramatic decline in the numbers and proportion of civilian casualties or collateral damage in such ways. and particularly in the last year, you seem to have a turning away from targeted killings, toward more interest in the kind
of capture that you saw -- as peter referred in the libya operation last fall and may have been a part of the raid in somalia carried out at the same time. there again, all we know there was a aborted raid in somalia. so it's very difficult to say, and most counterterrorism analysts will not get up and blanket say this work is a great program. it doesn't work. it's a terrible program. you can't wreck in the cost one way or the other. from the point of view from the legal institutionalist argument. if the constitution says, and does pretty clearly, t congress' job declare war. how do they think about it's a war they want to be in?
of getting rid of someone. safety today or tomorrow might be threatening us today or tomorrow. so the first step here, and the interesting thing, as we'll see is this is broadly agreed and has very little prospect of happening. there needs to be a much greater understanding of what it is that the government is doing and what it believes the justifications for doing it are. last year we learned because of the leak of a memo from the justice department in fact, we subsequently heard in public speeches as well the administration has three different justifications for undertaking targeted killing or other acts involving the use of force overseas.
and someone to invoke the 2001 authorization for use of military force against al qaeda, against groups or individuals or states that plan carried out, or harbored those who carried out the 9/11 attacks, or associated forces. here we start to get in to some iffy definitional questions. having worked in the clinton white house i have to promise not make jokes. it depends the use of associated deviated forces is. you get in justification number two. the institution says that the president may use force without asking congress first. it depends on your definition of imminent. there's a fabulous section in the memo which talks about imminent as not meaning it in the way as as i understand it peter is going to tell me stop talking and let someone else speak. but if we get to the point where it is imminent and we didn't do something when we scrowltd the
moment where we could have done something count as imminent. that's an interesting definition. i'm not a lawyer, but to what level do we the american people. at least or representatives need understand that. justification number three international humanitarian law says that states may use force in self-defense. but what substitutes self-defense? if iraq is threatening the iraqi state and iraq is a partner of ours, is state we have agreements with, but not a treaty ally, does that institute self-defense? if we know about an al qaeda attack imminent not against the u.s. but nato allies. does it count as self-defense? if we know about an attack on shopping mall where americans might be targeted. does that count as self-defense? those are all really hard questions that there aren't easy answers to.
and anyone who tells you well the obvious answer is x or y that's wrong. how they would be made around administration or you basically don't trust the administration and don't like the idea they're making decisions without oversight. either way you might come out with the idea that completely apart from your views on the actual legality, morality, wisdom of any elements that make up what we're doing under the aumf, it's time for a review. here we come to the fun of american politics. and when i started working on the piece, the great minds at democracy were very keen to draw comparison to the 1970s, and the great national security reforms that took place then.
i think it's worth -- i think it's worth highlighting what similar and what is different about the great reform of the 1970s, and first, you had just come through a war in which americans had been drafted and in which hundreds of thousand of american lives had been lost. second, you a continuing string of embarrassing intel revelations include, for those not old enough to remember this. the cia stockpiled enough to assassinate thousand of world leaders. and you had a degree -- i don't want to -- i don't want to say that the 1970 ump some moment. there was a degree of partisan comedy around these issues. like the war powers act that commanded some support,
altogether not a lot of support. they were very controversial and considered watered down by both parties in congress. the last point that we had in the 70 we don't have now is within each party, you or so in the republicans perhaps, you had something of a coherent idea about what each party stood for in term of what american national security and how it should be secured. and you had a degree of party discipline. the fascinating thing as you head to 2014 is thinking about the politics of these issues.
so when you have one neater truly has an end -- not just among random people in the party. you have rand ron paul and christie fighting in public what the appropriate counterterrorism measures two of the most talked about presidential nominee. fact your party is empowered and a lot of other things on your plate. you have this white house saying, and frankly, anyone who watched congress in the past six months is some justification, well, yes as a constitutional lawyer it would be better congress fix it this.
we don't trust you to do it right. if you can't deal with the debt ceiling. how can we trust you with the war? u.s. combat troops will leave afghanistan in december, 2014. the war that americans thought we were signing up to fight will end. this authorization in all likelihood, ament although there is a repeal bill introduced by the house by representative adam and a proposal being talked about on the senate side floated by corker. in all likelihood nothing will happen. we will enter 2015 with this oddly outdated authorization to fight a war gebs a group of people who was really one major exception are all dead or in custody. and the successors, associates, ill defined.
most people believe that this is legally okay. obviously from a policy and propaganda point of view it's a little dpiewb dubious. it's the interesting question whether you're allowed to hold prisoners at guantanamo after you no longer fighting the war, which you are authorized to fight. after world war ii there was a wind down period of some years. it doesn't mean on january 1st the gates need pop open. it becomes harder and harder and with due deference to the legal -- it becomes harder and harder to explain what it is and why we're doing it. in 2014 is, fragly, not because of the institutionalist concern, not because balance of power between executive and
legislative. not even because of human rights concerns. taking up terrorist tactics, you have to be able to exbrain you're doing and how you're on their side. and a war which is sort of a war, sort of again you, sort of not against you. we're not going tell you what we're doing. we can't tell you why you're neighbor's house got blown. up.
a national public conversation about what it is you want to deal with a post, post 9/11 problem of terrorism needs to counter them. how we enact in a way that uses our legal system and military, and all of the frankly longer term and diplomatic cultural aspect of counterterrorism policy as all working together to make sure we have going forward and don't get stuck not just in the name of endless war but the actual kinds of casualties and horrors of war we saw in the last decade and don't want to see again. thanks. >> thank you.
please ascribe no content in the political direction. [laughter] so peter asked me to give a overview of the issues surrounding the aunf in 15 minutes. which is a bit of a project. i'm going to try to speak quickly. it's focused on the response to 9/11. we were fighting a conflict that no longer involved groups that
even existed at the time of 9/11. though a lot of them had embraced the name al qaeda in various part of the world. so we thought, you know, if you were basic institutional hygiene it would be better not to say what we were doing with the elite or improper but you would prefer to be operating on the basis of an instrument that describes the conflict you were fighting.
and so i stand here before you a year after co-writing this paper to say at least in the short term, we were completely and utterly defeated in our efforts to extend, define and add definitional contours to the conflict. which raises the question why this issue is so important, if it is. the president has said he is committed to bringing this war to an end. we are moving people out of afghanistan over the course of this year and we have developed a remarkable series of legal fictions that everybody seems if
not content with, more or less comfortable being uncomfortable living under, in which we get to continue the fight even though we are pretending that the war is over and roughly speaking those legal fictions work like this. we continue to do drone strikes using in various places in the world, using three basic ideas. one is that forces associated with al qaeda. belligerebelligere nce with al qaeda for purposes of international law. they have joined the fight on the side of al qaeda and therefore we are entitled to attack them. number two, to the extent that may not either need the case, we are entitled as an independent matter of international law to engage as heather said himself that fence.
that means if there is an imminent threat you can use lethal force to repel it. that's true for international law purposes and constitutional law purposes and we define imminence rather broadly. that is not a new thing in american legal affairs foreign diplomacy. we have done that at least since the 80s but the notion is one that is relatively capacious and so number three, ever since the president's speech we have said we are only going to target people with legal -- lethal force when there captures not feasible. this puts a similar stress on what the definition of the word feasible is so you can say by taking the capacious notion of associated forces a capacious notion of eminence and freeze
they are limited and so everybody has a preferred option. they go in different directions but everybody second-worst option is the current status quo and that is why we are going to continue living under a very old document and we are going to interpret it at any given moment in time to allow us to do the things we are doing. if i sound contemptuous i guess that's a compromise but let me say i am. i think it's a bad on hygienic from a constitutional democracy standpoint way to go about it but the truth is that you know we lost that discussion. and i am at this point a little bit resigned to the fact that there is not a broad constituency for what i think would be the better, healthier
way to do this, to have a serious conversation like the one this event is about which is what are the things that we won't? what are the places we want to be fighting a conflict if any? what are the groups we want to think of ourselves at war with? who do we want to authorize those extraordinary powers against and what are the mechanisms that we do and don't want to use as a way of defining this? now in defense of our political system, let me just say that this is actually a really hard problem. it's hard politically. it's hard in terms of the geopolitics. what are the countries in which you want to think of yourself as a military conflict? where would you never use military force? what are the groups you think of as just groups that call themselves al qaeda but really they are just sort of a
garden-variety terrorist? what are the groups that you think meaningfully are groups that you would want to use military horse against? these are very hard questions about just the political and strategic side of it. the legal side of it is really hard. if you declare a state of armed conflict legally against certain groups, normally we think of that as an authorization for the use of force as a fairly static instrument. you are authorized to attack germany and its allies. you are authorized to attack. you know you can define that pretty easily. if you have a world in which the enemy is ever-changing how do you deal with that legally? this is a very very hard problem and one that you know there are no perfect answers to.
congress is not so good it really hard problems right now and you know one of the things that has happened in the last year since i worked on this paper was that you know congress couldn't keep the government open. but relatively easy problems that you know are not the sort of thing you would think -- they actually don't require huge intellectual investment and thought. should you pass an appropriations bill such that the government of united states doesn't shut down? i do think that there is you know one virtue you could say about the current environment and i know there are people in the audience who will not see this as a virtue. i flirt with the idea that it's a virtue, is that it is static and self-perpetuating. if you don't do anything legislatively the authorities persist and we don't lurch from
crisis to crisis at least in terms of the basic legal authorities. in some weird sense i too see the current situation as distasteful as i find it as the second-worst option and i think having, what would be the best option is if we could have a serious discussion about what sort of legal instruments we want to govern the next 10 years or five years of the conflict? what would be the worst option is if we lurched from option to option so that there was the kind of uncertainty in overseas military operations and counterterrorism operations that we have seen in fiscal matters. i'm going to stop there. >> thank you ben. [applause] >> you micah.
>> thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to come down and speak to everybody. i want to thank you america who has been at the forefront of a lot of these issues for quite a long time and for the better thoughts from the panelists who went before me. i just had five relatively i think what points which touch upon some of what has already been addressed that maybe provides it in a slightly new light. one of the things that is we are thinking about is the extent to which the capabilities the united states has to conduct some of these operations has morphed significantly since 9/11. i spent a lot of time talking to people in the military and much fewer people in the intelligence community that one of the things that makes them distinctly uncomfortable among senior officers and general officers is the extent to which the use of military forces and extremely easy easy thing now. it used to be, there used to be larger logistical political hurdles to making -- using force and using force now
is an easy thing to do. one of the ways to think about this on my own topic is unmanned aerial vehicles. on 9/11 the united states had 167 drones, three or four of them could drop alms. just last month the defense department released its latest unmanned aerial systems roadmap and dod has 11,000 drones. somewhere between 352 and four of them can drop tom's. it's important to remember this capability emerged if you go back and read the 9/11 commission and some of the debates around the ability to find military options to go after osama bin laden was the clinton administration specifically seniors and the national security council whenever comfortable with the options of the military came up with. it was a huge logistical footprint and caused billions of dollars in the data put in an armored division and they were simply unsatisfied with it and the solution developed by a small number of people the air force and director of operations in the joint staff from the cia
was to put a antitank helicopter missile on a platform created simply to spite and what that platform did was it provided three immediate and inherent advantages over all the weapons platforms. when the ability to persist over a target for a longer period of time and the second is the responsiveness where you have the surveillance platforms in the third obviously doesn't put servicemembers were pilots at risk of being captured or killed in hostile environments and that's a significant change. subsequently capability to kill one guy is killed 36 people in nonbattlefield setting since the first one on november 13, 2002 so there has been something by my account 460 targeted killings it's important to understand the drone is a distinct reason for a lot of these. there was a one time a strong enduring moment of opinion among
the intelligence community that we don't conduct killings of this nature and admonished other governments to do it so typically the government of israel. what was once largely unthinkable and along -- among a lot of communities is fairly routine. the number of strikes has come down as heather pointed out. it peaked in 2010 and the reason it teach in 2010 and pakistan specifically is because they match directly with the surge of u.s. forces and also if you map the number of airstrikes in tennessee in which you can find a classified number they also match the same. the second capability is special operators and special operations command at one time i know there was something like 10 hollywood movies either in theaters or developing about the navy s.e.a.l.s alone. special operations command has doubled in size and now they are
played in over 100 countries. everyone was really attracted to the osama bin laden osama bin laden rate but it wasn't actually very. we did 11 similar raids that night in afghanistan and the ability of special operators combining fusing intelligence collection and going after targets is exponentially and everyone you talk to in the special operations world will tell you this. i can go into some detail if you are interested about a case study that i studied carefully in the summer of 2002 the bush administration almost authorizes strike incur mall in northern iraq which was against al zarqawi which later became the head of the sunni terrorist groups in iraq. they almost went after him and it was a complete disaster. they had months to plan and they never had confidence in the capabilities and the risk associated in the mission. now conducting is similar raids
would be fairly standard. the third capability is cybercapabilities and as we learned from one of the recent leaked edward snowden documents in 2011 the u.s. conducted 231 offense of cybercapabilities. these are beyond just stuxnet but the ability to disrupt and destroy in adversary's computer network. if you read congressional hearings about what are the situations under which the u.s. will use offensive cyberwhat is the strategy and the supporting doctrine what is the understanding for which situations can be undertaken nobody seems to know. it's always under development, under review but not quite there so it's important and distinct capabilities that were nascent or far less developed on september 14 win congress -- amuf and more standardized capabilities and capabilities
that did not exist then exist now in abundance. the second second issue i'd mention his people have discussed this, we have never been told who we are at war with great al qaeda and associated forces are convenient tent but if you refuse to articulate the scope on on the left are tired to assess when the work again and how well you are doing. there are various bits and pieces for how you can try to figure out who you are at war with. there is the white house war powers resolution where they list some countries where military operations -- occur. the state department has something called the terrorist organization list. currently there are 57 groups considered foreign terrorist organizations. by my count something like nine or 10 have been targeted by the united states legal force -- lethal force but we never said whether you have to be in ftl and if you look at the state department and at how many people are members there something like 10,000 different people so the scope of targeting
is a good anything. it wasn't until february 2013 that senator ron wyden is a member of the senate intelligence committee was provided a list of countries where countries could use lethal force and it wasn't until may of 2013 that the arms services committee was told who is directly targeting with lethal force under 10 operations at a hearing in may with michael sheehan who is the assistant secretary of defense special operations intensive conflict. he said i'm not sure there's a list per se. he was provided a alyssa matlosz has never been made of the. when a spokesperson was asked why it hasn't been made public he said doing so would cause serious damage to national security because elements that might be considered associated forces can build credibility by being listed to the u.s.. you cannot afford to inflate these organizations by naming them. it's important to understand the reason we don't know if the pentagon is worried these groups will brag that they have been
aimed and targeted. which of course these groups donate additionaadditiona l fuel for their pr efforts anyways but this is the official reason why we can't know who we are at war with. the third issue which people discuss as they amuf is not merely out of date but deeply misleading. the notion that al qaeda and associated forces, it assumes the sameness to all the scope of targeting. it assumes individuals targeted pakistan are the same individuals targeted in yemen and somalia and libya. it's really not sure at all. it's an immense operational fiction. the types of targeting the u.s. is done in pakistan which is about force protection free as individuals deployed in southern afghanistan and going after individuals who want to attack with what they consider the apostate regime in islamabad. very different from aqap elements who have been targeted in yemen. even in world war ii congress
declared war against six specific states. all the access got their own congressional declaration of war and that only lasted five years. it was a situation where we are 1313 years in and anyone who who is in al qaeda associated force who is explicitly not named is provided under the same umbrella. finally one other issue is that another significant shift since 9/11 which is worth considering is what i consider outsourcing lethality. these are lethal strikes by other states to receive firepower intelligence targeting intelligence to the united states. since 9/11 u.s. has provided targeting intelligence for lethal strikes by pakistan turkey yemen ethiopia honduras uganda france and iraq at least. according to state department reports a lot of these airstrikes resulted in casualties. it strike me that if the u.s. is
concerned about who it targets with lethal force and what sort of civilian productions they should be provided it might be worth the conversation to think about when the u.s. provides the enabling logistical or intelligence support that allows other countries to kill individuals. the final issues the politics of this. obama has said on many occasions that he wants to engage the congress in the a.m. u.s.. the problem is this vestiges not been received by the rest of the u.s. government. at the may hearing with a number of pentagon officials said i think the amuf works well for us caroline kross who is the consulate general at the cia in her december congressional hearing also said i believe the amuf has -- is sufficient and administration is a legal available
interpretation. there's there is no appetite between individuals who conduct operations are changing a.m. -- amuf and unless they're a high levels of senior demand for it it's not going to happen because you have to make effort of comfortable before policymakers will have the courage to implement change. i will just add for close by noting all the congressional speeches and editorials around the week after 9/11. one of the things a lot of constitutional lawyers in the military officers were happy with was the narrowness of the congressicongressi onal mandate bestowed on president bush, that's nobody thought at the time that the u.s. would be at war for 13 years or or what have you sat that mandate for 13 years. president bush at his great speech at the national cathedral prayer service on the evening the passed amuf he says this conflict has begun on the timing in terms of others and it will end in a way and an hour at our
choosing. it seems that the discussion about when that our comes is now our state have given the individuals strictly capable for the events of 9/11 are largely no longer with us. thank you. [applause] >> thank you micah. ben if you are rewriting today, because it seems to me you and i are in agreement which is what we need is a amuf that names are enemy specifically. who would be on the list and where's the cut-off? i presume al qaeda would be on the list. >> so, broadly speaking there are three ways to do this if you are congress. one is to make an itemized list of groups that you want to authorize force against. now this is the traditional way to do it.
you are authorized to use force against the imperial government of japan. you are authorized to use force against the perpetrators, the individuals, the persons, states organizations responsible for 9/11 or those that harbor them. you are authorized -- one is to name the target organizations, groups, states, people specifically. this is impossible to do in the current context because organizations change and they change their names and the more specifically name them, the more quickly the instrument becomes useless. and this has been a problem even under the amuf and why the words associated forces which actually don't appear in the amuf have taken on such weight, because you know a series of organizations has sort of shown up in the conflict that warned,
you know that aren't obviously described by the original doctrine. so the second option is to describe the category of organization and then leave it to the -- leave it to the executive to figure out which organizations at any given moment in time do and don't meet those descriptions. >> i think there is little debate al qaeda would be on the list however it's categorized so what a group -- what about a group like lashkar-e-taiba which killed americans in mumbai in 2008? would that be on the list? >> so look, i have always refrained from -- i'm not an panelist for the groups. i am not a terrorism expert and so which groups the longing which category is really frankly beyond my expertise.
see what about a hypothetical? this is a group that attacked americans specifically when after an american target. forget about the -- would say this group has told us we hate americans. would this we hate americans would be on your list? >> so look, i don't think that hating or targeting americans is in and of itself enough to justify military conflict. there are a lot of groups in the world that don't like americans. there are somewhat smaller subset of groups that actually do something about that. to me, what made this amuf -- look hezbollah has targeted americans. >> that was years ago. it's the right that we didn't and a umass -- amuf so you know what made al qaeda and what made the amuf
worthwhile in my judgment was a sudden sense that there was a group of global reach that was at that time projecting force against us and we blacks law enforcement means of confronting because they were camped out in areas of the world in which the ritz of our courts to run and frankly the rates of other courts don't run either. i think that is reasonably approximates the category of group that i would like to see us continuing to exert military force against. see what is your view? my premium concerning is the president can always as commander-in-chief for any
covert operation consignment individual presidential memorandum notification to conduct any operation. he can place under the osama bin laden raid special initiatives from the military and call a covert area this happens all the time so the means by which the president can target individuals is pretty limitless. in assessing the honesty of what the u.s. is doing, and this gets to the only way we can do this is to have some sense of who is being targeted which i would be quite happy to name individual groups who are being directly targeted because it's difficult to assess the effectiveness of strategies and lets you do. it's just amorphous shifting or groups that change names etc. then what are we doing? in 2012 there were 50,000 fatalities from terrorism, 10 private u.s. citizens and --
most terrorism has nothing to do with america. when we see it in emerging areas like africa and southeassoutheas t asia has nothing to do with us. we should be limited very narrowly and laser-like on the individuals who did pose a threat to the u.s. homeland and potentially u.s. to diplomatic abroad but that is very few people. >> if i could jump in and try to draw those two together, ben you didn't draw the consequences from your criteria but i will, that if you put criteria that is limited to groups with global reach and groups that are explicitly aiming at targeting americans in some kind of large-scale targets of opportunity way, that it might view it laminates most of the groups that commonly get trotted out now when we get told what a threat resurgent al qaeda linked terrorism is and again i would not like to have to have this fight for someone who has access
to a lot of classified but we do need people who have had access to be having that discussion on our behalf read. >> by the way i think you can have that discussion based on public information. what sane american was killed in syria by an american affiliate. this was a public events of the notion that this realm of classified data, that's an analog about the drone. >> actually i would counter that and as much as it's a painful tragedy anytime when an american is killed anywhere in the world and as someone who has travels and has members -- family members of travel i have a concern. one didn't -- when did one american being killed somewhere become the definition of what? is that the definition of war that we as a society want and it's not then you have to base your judgment of groups on something other than they killed one american hand that means that they are trying to do what
al qaeda was trained to do in 2001 collapse u.s. society. lashkar-e-taiba is a great example of a nasty group that nobody should have any sympathy for that definitely would like to do harm to any americans that could easily get its hands on but do we have any evidence that they are planning to anything that harms us foundational he is a society lacks no, we don't. >> there are a couple of other variables here. one is that the enemy does get a vote as to whether you are in a conflict with them or not. this is not to say that everybody who stands up and says i'm at war with america should be, you know give that -- that there are groups when they say we have learned from some experience the meaning, the second thing is that groups that are affiliated meaningfully with groups we are at war with. i mean the concept of
co-belligerence is not without meaning. whether it means as much as they'd administration is put on it, i will actually defend with the administration is done on that but i understand it's controversial. whether or not you would go that far. it surely isn't irrelevant that a group sees itself as a wing of al qaeda, but the group has -- sees itself as having joined the fight didn't say mali against a government in the banner of al qaeda. and so the question of how seriously you take the pronouncements and ambitions of the constituent affiliate groups is a very difficult one and defining the proper scope of the conflict. >> if you were to rewrite the amuf how would you rewrite it? >> so you would have to, congress would have to have a debate and say we are at war. this is what we are at war with and actually i quite like ben's
criteria. groups with global reach and an avowed goal of harming core american interests. >> who would you put on your list? [laughter] >> actually i don't know that i would take the list -- >> i'm just asking your opinion who should be on that list? >> al qaeda, and maybe al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, maybe i'll shabaab raised on what we saw about the training in connection with the dash which looked like it had caught a core ipod that quality with it. >> this gets to ben's point which is a good one which is this list would have to evolve because you wouldn't put shabaab on this list before kenya. >> i don't know that i would now. >> the point is, you might also get off of it in a certain
point. hezbollah would be on would be honored in 1983 and wouldn't be on today. >> this spring shuja the second the second worst of all possible worlds because you don't want everybody to stay on. you don't frankly wanted to be like fisa where you have the authorities and you can't go back and revisit do we need them. we don't want this authority, the statute to be in 10 years like the statue we have now so how given the brokenness of our legislative system i don't have an answer for how we design a war authority that doesn't become static and evaporate away like you describe. >> that raises the bigger issue which is when are we at war writ large? >> this frankly comes back to the questions that mic arrays because as it's become easier to use lethal force how do we institute real oversight and protection and democratic decision-making about this whole category of mere war?
which frankly we are going to see a lot more mere war than actual war. speakers a question for all of you. one approach that is more than the u.s. approaches to have some kind of a geneva protocol annual convention about the use of force that would be obviously drones would be the issue that you would focus on. in what circumstances can states use violence outside of their own borders in a way that we all agree collectively? the geneva convention has been written on the number of -- and with that approach work and is that a discussion worth having? >> is very much a discussion worth having. there's no substantive agreement between the u.s. and its allies as to the answer to those questions and i think the likelihood that you could get
agreement -- i mean it comes back to these questions up how eminent does a threat have to be and you know there has been some convergence in the united states in the european government on those questions. there has not been a lot. there has not been complete convergence and the idea that you can get a written document that even in the united states and europe could agree to is improbable and what you are seeing in our international relations and pakistan is that there is the road agreement although there are accommodations but there is no conceptual arena as to when you have the authority to use force on the mutual party. >> it took 10 years for the international community to read that use of the use of chemical weapons so the fact there are
disagreements about something isn't necessarily a reason to say we shouldn't be having this discussion. >> i didn't say that. to the extent and i think look, the u.s. european convergence has been substantial. the convergence is, the europeans have come to accept in more or less a temporal understanding of eminence than they had. that is their move toward our view of what have been its means at least de facto and we have moved solidly toward the idea that eminence is important and so the president's may 23 speech set for the first time we will only use drone strikes for lethal force in circumstances of eminence threat even under the amuf. now what that means it is a hard question but at least, at least at the conceptual level there
has been a significant movement both on the side of the atlantic and on the others ,-com,-com ma on the other toward a more -- i don't want to don't want overstated and say there's a common understanding. there is a more common understanding. >> question for everybody which is you'll know that the chinese announced about a year ago that they were planning to use an armed drone to kill a notorious drug trafficker. i think he was in burma just over the chinese border and they tried to capture him. by the standards that we employ clearly this would have been a legal strike from the way that we think about the threat. >> oh i think not. >> because? >> generally speaking the authorizing document for those strikes is an authorization for the use of military force which we contend is international law compliant and as i understand the chinese position toward drug
lords, this was a law enforcement operation. we don't do law enforcement operations very often. >> really? doesn't this get right to the heart of the whole issue which this guy think he kidnapped 14 chinese i think sailors. he was more than just a conventional drug trafficker. the whole point of the discussion which is this is an example of somebody who poses some kind of military threat to the chinese. he was kidnapping their servicemen. he wasn't -- it wasn't feasible to capture him initially. and this gets to the question of this geneva conventional protocol idea which is surely since they chinese the party demonstrated that they may well use their own rationale that we need to have some kind of international rationale here that is agreed to.
as complicated as it is. >> i don't think -- be analog with the a mexican drug cartel type who is not posing an imminent threat to any hostages but in general causes you know, poses a significant threat as a general opposition. we don't use drones in those situations. we consider them law enforcement but when you take things out of context of the amuf you use -- lose lot of military options and that is why the scope of the amuf is important. >> understood but drone strikes aren't just dependent on the amuf. when the amuf expires, mika do you have any views? >> i would say ben has spent a lot of time with european
capitals. there might be convergence over eminence but there are strong convergence. the issue of the signature strikes in particular drives new countries up the wall. it is a targeting criteria that has a long history in the uses of force and actually began under president bush but it's targeting individuals who don't appear on a list and are not by their names and have patterns of the observable behavior and appeared to be affiliated with a group that is therefore targeted it's important to understand the first target can you did there were six individuals in a car and only one of them knew the individuals name. one of them was a citizen so signature strikes have been with us the whole time. the obamas conducts them and there are some rumors that there
is public knowledge that they have done them or stop doing them. the individual who the chinese are not drone strike and put the nations or explosives on aircraft and essentially bomb -- was it captured in laos but he killed chinese foreign nationals by the chinese definition he was conceived as an imminent threat to chinese nationals in and out of the waterways which come into china. they made the contention that he could be lawfully targeted. >> the geneva protocol international conventions norms? >> the way i would start that just to make explicit something that was implicit in what he enormously helpful for the u.s. to acknowledge that this was a legitimate and even good subject for international discussion frankly because that helps
create norms that i and others. frankly if the disagreement with the europeans is still intense in the ways micah that you describe having the europeans, then complain loudly in public wouldn't be a bad thing in terms of trying to rein in the kind of views you are concerned about in the chinese case so you can imagine starting with series of parallel declarations and these are principles for how we use unmanned vehicles. there is a great history and arms control and other areas where she say it takes a decade or more to get to an agreement but you start with this agreement that you will lead everyone else know. >> it's in our interest to have an agreement. our monopoly is gone, unauthorized. how many countries do you think has armed --.
>> the united states is reveling great written and 400 in afghanistan. there are barriers to developing the capability there. it's not going to be as fast as some people imagine and it's important to understand the architecture capabilities that allows the u.s. to do strikes in a geographic location. people just don't have the settle at and what to do that. >> you think the chinese have the capability or will have the capability shirley and iran and russia backs. >> germany has been claiming since 2011 and the defense minister says i don't know. if you look at a lot of the deadlines people set on drums that don't meet them and their a lot of countries who make claims like the iranians and i don't believe half of what they say. you will see this capability used in regional disputes because the one thing we learned
from other states is that they lower the threshold for when civilians decide to authorize military force. people do things with drones they would not do it manned aircraft and they do things against drones like the rant is against u.s. predators in the persian gulf are they both try to, there's electronic warfare against predators and the nuclear gulf all the time. there's in a series of attempt to shoot downs of predator drones. they don't do this against manned aircraft. drums are seen as an acceptable way to poke at the united states but they don't do it against manned u.s. aircraft. they have the ability to destabilize a weapons platform. >> one final question before we ended up. cyberwarfare there are a lot of analogues with the john question because it's relatively easy to do. it's potentially, it lowers the cost of attacking. to what extent is there a geneva conventional on cyberwarfare
that we could think about as well? >> it there's one place the u.s. and they're trying to do these dialogs in those countries on the rules of award for acceptable cyberback operations. it essentially preparing the battlefield which is going into other countries information systems to extract information and what is actual kind of like effects and destroying their computer systems. >> was it an active offensive warfare warfare or was a sabotage? the it was against something we would consider and attack on u.s.. >> i think it's worth being very skeptical of the idea of the cybersecurity -- that anybody would follow precisely because unlike airpower even in the form of unmanned aerial vehicles cyberoperations are done almost exclusively in secret. they are almost always deniable.
they are almost always denied and they are very difficult to attribute area that makes compliance very difficult to contemplate. is the more important that you develop norms and areas we can develop norms or you have some type of carryover which says there have to be some limits the two on cyber even if you have notes prospect of agreeing on what they are. >> if you have a question make wait for the microphone and identify yourself. we will begin with this lady here. see hi. i am a doctoral candidate at the universiuniversi ty of california in irvine. i have been studying a lot of these groups and most of these groups have a lot of state support which we call state sponsorship. i wonder whether reform of the amuf what kind of effect would that have on essentially these states that sort of sponsor the groups and the example that
comes to mind is the haqqani network. pakistan was very offended for obvious reasons as to why they were designated as a terrorist group. i'm anxious to hear your opinion about whether reforming the amuf are changing it or even leaving it as it is what effect does that have on diplomatic relations between the states that are fighting better operating together on counterterrorism strategies? >> so you you know 11 level the answer to that is probably none. the amuf is a u.s. domestic statute and you know under current u.s. law, we can attack groups that we think are those associated with al qaeda, asay seated forces of al qaeda and if we reorient to that law so as to divide the different races for
authorization for force against psalm, all or potentially more of those groups you would still have the central architecture of some sort in place which is a u.s. domestic standard that authorizes the use of force against certain groups, perhaps including groups like the haqqani network and those -- that statute would raise the same concerns in which you are conducting operations as existing law with one important caveat, which is that one of the things that we amuf wherever it is we are operating, to avoid further exacerbating relations with certain countries is arguably notionally in fact really compliant with their international law. you could imagine a circumstance in which congress would want to be very aggressive and would pass statutes that would authorize operations that were
not in fact internatiinternati onal law. you could really imagine that being an irritant in relations with the states in which those operations might take place. with that caveat i think it probably is you know not if reticular the significant factor one way or the other. >> you actually raise a really important point if you turn your question around a little bit. unfortunately your question tells us more about the u.s. than it does about what happens next in pakistan. one of the reasons that the current dysfunctional situation works well for american policymakers and one of the other reasons that we have so little information is that it is quite embarrassing to governments pakistan in particular but not only pakistan to a knowledge these operations are taking place and they are taking place against entities that as you say there are credible allegations that they
received considerable support. so in essence and probably not just in pakistan working with one arm of the governmengovernmen t against the other. how do you as a policy matter keep that up if you have to say it in advance and have to say what you did it and if you have to say who was targeted, that becomes unbearably embarrassing for government. if you are dealing with a weak civilian government it becomes legally embarrassing. you can stop the argument and say that's a good reason has to remain secret and by the way the reason that some have to remain under the authority of the cia rep there then the defense department kept under the authority of cia there is less probability of -- or you can say a fundamental flaw in a policy that is dependent on the government of the policy being carried out and
whether or not their short-term effects that the policy is not going to have the long-term counterterrorism affects that we want. that is the level of debate when you talk about the a.m. -- amuf not to bring up which would have great effects for pakistan and other societies but it is very operative. because the short-term is to rely masher that's going to happen. >> one of the trickiest items of the 40 prisoners at once, who are regarded as too dangerous to release against whom there is no evidence they have done anything wrong. what would you do about them? >> well there is a straight horrid solution not an aroma politically feasible but a straightforward solution which is to bring them here, charge the ones that can be charged in civilian courts as we have done with great success with people like al-libi who was not
necessarinecessarily a great guy and that gets down to a smaller number than 40 whom you would either have to flat out release and here i come back to my world war ii example which is an interesting one. the u.s. managed apparently to release everyone we held within a few years. the last german p.o.w. not free to germany but written in france were apparently they were still doing manual labor still into the 1950s. there are her for i.d. of clearly legal and were dubious people at different places along the spectrum might find more or less objectional, places that those folks can go if the administration were given a hand to dispose of them without the restrictions and reporting requirements and the overhang from congress. now the likelihood of that happening is not huge so